General Golidere's Parlor on the Dysphasian slave ship
An elven male servant opens the doors to the large, lavishly furnished salon, which includes a bar, fireplace, overhead music coming from some unknown place, and a horde of elven harem, all sitting in their pouting fashion on his large, comfy bed as she enters.
All of the female harem stare at her as she is brought in in shackles, and one of them asks, "Is our lord here yet?"
One of the guards answers in a cold tone, "He'll be here shortly. You can stay in here with these girls for now. They'll take good care of you."
He chuckles as he releases her agressively into the room, closing the door behind her. There is a latch sound, as well as a sealing sound, and then nothing.
The girls are all quiet for a moment, until the one that spoke, a raven-haired elf with a bluish tone of skin walks up to her slowly, leaning down into her ear and whispering, "They got you, did they?"
She runs a finger along Lykia's neck and chin coolly.
Lykia's eyes widen as she stares at the women, then steps away from her, flinching away from her touch though not answering. She looks past her to the rest of the females, it wasn't the first time she'd seen a harem. Her expression curled into one of disgust as she looks away.
The parlor door slowly creaked open. Forrest creeped in, still invisible, and stood next to Lykia. He whispered in her ear, "Don't be scared. I'll get us out of here."
An alarm begins to sound as a loud, ringing tone, and Forrest's shadowy form slips along the edge of shadows in the room, while elsewhere on the ship guards are chaotically trying to ascertain the locations of three of the four new prisoners having been moved.
The dark-haired girl watches as the shadow enters the room just after her, and steps back in fear from the girl.
"Sorceress," she hisses at her, and all the girls back off as if from a hot oven opening.
"That collar doesn't work on you, does it?" one of the auburn-haired girls comments under a smirk, while the rest of the cringe in apprehension.
Lykia simply blinks at them all and tilts her head a little. She ponders saying something, but just grins and shrugs. She changes her mind, "Well, they say sometimes one's shadow can be stolen by devils...so...is anyone missing theirs?" She asks innocently.
Forrest smiled at their little game and decided to have a little fun as well. He slowly stepped toward the girls in a menacing manner.
The shade flickers forth at an agressive pace and the girls all flinch or jump backward, and one of them, a beautiful blonde half elf, with obvious human eyes of a deep blue speaks up to her, "What are you? Are you a witch or, or, or a demon? A Succubus?!" the girls all cry aloud.
Something odd is happening, and its clear to both Forrest and Lykia.
These girls are all acting extremely overly dramatic. Lykia's every move makes them move and cringe back, sneering and bending like cats and beckoning with their eyes.
It is like they are under some form of enchantment.
"Hmm?" Lykia ponders, and decides to do some testing. She grins, curling the corner of her lip up, showing a pointed canine, then looks at the girls, "Something wrong?" She says, breathing out slowly, attempting something she never actually tries to do, and for a moment, a mere instant her violet eyes change color, flashing from the pupil red seems to seep out, and from the outer ring of her eyes yellow seeps towards her pupils. In the blink of an eye, the half demons eyes are violet again, and in her mind Lykia cringes in slight pain from forcing herself to do that, but not showing that outwardly. Sometimes she just couldn't help herself.
The girls whimper and cry out at the discoloration of her eyes and her fangs, which grew and retracted before their very eyes in an unconscious flash, and they arched their backs and reared back, the whole eight of them, like a mass.
They never once strayed from the bed, though many other places afforded more protection, and it all seems so dramatic and odd. Something forces her to think that girls would act different under other circumstances, and the thought of enchantment once more lingers in Lykia's mind.
After a few moments where the dark-haired girl began to calm herself, and moved forward from the bed to reach out to try and touch Lykia, but before she could come close enough, the side door to the suite, in the other room, opened, and the general Golidere himself walks in, striding like a cocky drow soldier.
"Girls," he comments, as they cry out in joy and shower him with enthusiasm at his very entrance, once again changing their emotions drastically and becoming odd once more.
After he is within the room, they run to him and hold him, massaging his neck and back, some coming to lie at his feet.
The auburn-haired elven woman says aloud, "My lord, who is this girl?! She is so strange!!"
"Yes, oh yes she is,"
"Why is she here?"
"Is she a new sister?"
"Why does she look and act so strange, my lord?"
Like a set of bad actors, these girls cry out like drones to this elven man, whose dark hair falls low around his shoulders, draped in robes of deepest green, lined with golden trim.
"That is precisely what I intend to ask of her myself, young ones, so if you'll excuse us, I would like to speak with her about it myself," and even before he can finish any of that, he is drowned out by moaning and whimpering as he finishes, "Alone."
"We want to hear why..."
Strictly lowering his tone of voice to the girls, his angry temper lets loose for a moment as he says one final time, "No."
They move away slowly and he tells them, "Go, move to the boxes, and keep yourselves quiet."
They do so without further interruption, aside from small mutterings of menial value.
As they exit, moving into a series of cupboard-like wooden cages fixed into the far walls of the bedroom area, he smiles only lightly at her as they disperse.
"My men tell me that you have the blood of demon in you. I can see very well that collar 'round your neck, and its many arcane runes of protection inscribed upon it, for its magic is no riddle to me."
He steps forward, hands motioning as he speaks, and walks merely in her direction, though not AT her.
"Are you the prisoner of some other mage or aristocrat? I ask only for the truth..." he asks coolly and in a very calm tone.
Lykia once more does nothing to hide her disgust as she watches the scene before her. When the General speaks to her she looks at him with contempt in her eyes, "I am no one's prisoner." She answers simply, "That is the truth."
"That isn't what I asked, you, little spriteling," smirking at her and edging closer.
"You are not here with the intentions of becoming one of them... You are here because you are not full-blooded, and not half-human, which means that you must be directed under a very different set of rules.... Now, provided on how WELL you help us out, you may very well receive an honourable assignment, but once again, I must restate to you, Do you currently have any other master that governs your body or mind? And again, the truth is the only requisite to this question..."
She scrowls slightly and ponders an answer. Her Master had freed her, but even so he governed every corner of Lykia's mind, awake or asleep. She looks away developing a snotty tone, "I have a Master, greater than any other, more powerful than any other. He governs my heart, and I shall only obey his rule." She then glares up at him defiantly.
"Then, if that is true, you have no right to be taken hostily on this ship.... Who is this master of yours, I ask?" he turns to contemplate her words as he listens for her master's name or title.
Lykia scrowls again, "None if your business, I would never speak his name in the presence of your kind." She seems to have a spark of a temper acting up.
Looking slowly up at her, he comes close once more, quickly snatching up her lower chin in his tight grip and saying rather angrily, "Then perhaps it is someone of no regard, or who will perhaps never even miss your lack of presence..."
Looking her dead in the eye from very close, he attempts to corece her through violent aggression to reveal her master's name.
Her eyes flash as he touched her. A man other than her Master laying a hand on her. That she wouldn't allow. She pushed him hard and as agressively as she could, anger flaring, NO ONE TOUCHES ME EXCEPT MY LORD NI..." She quickly bites her tongue, "NO ONE BUT MY LORD!"
Golidere chuckles heartily at the girl's anger through gritted teeth.
"Ahha, tip a vase to the wayside, and watch it spill its contents... Fine, if you want to be difficult about this.... then we will see what you have to say after a little trip below deck."
At the last four words, his voice had become low and cold, angry and steeped in uncaring resentment.
Still shackled, he knocks her aside to place his hand on a small padded ceramic plate on the wall, and shortly thereafter, guards unlock and open the double doors at the entrance, coming in to bow before the general.
"Take her below, to confinement for a while. She isn't speaking of her master. See to it that she starts using that tongue of hers," he orders coldly.
They grasp her by the arms and schackles and begins to pull her out of the room aggressively.
Lykia's eyes grow wide, "No! Wait..." She whimpers, "Why do you need my Master's name??!" She's shaking, she hated her situation, and feared what may happen if she revealed her former Master...more so feared if he found out, if he would be angry she was naming him.
The guards continue to drag her until he cries out for them to stop, upon which he walks nearer to her.
"Let her go. Leave us. She will speak, but only to me. Get out."
With that, the two guards leave.
"I'm going to make this brief, but we do things a certain way around here, and that is according to RULES. The RULE IS if you are owned by another person here on this world, then you are not up for grabs by anyone else on this ship.... It is illegal. I need to know where you belong, and where to return you to.... because unless you belong to me, you belong to someone else..... Got me, dear?"
He walks over to the bar, and as one of the cage doors opens, he looks to the girl coming out, who wishes to speak, and he gives her a look which makes her retreat once more silently.
Pouring himself a glass of wine, he looks to her as he pulls out another, a look of questioning asking if she would like a crystal of drow spirits.
Lykia remains where she is, looking away, she had herself in deeper than she'd like to be. "Lord.." She says, then whispers in a very low voice, "Ni..Niari." The name barely pasts her lips, and she's regretting it immediatly.
"Now that's a good girl. Miari, you say. Come, over here, have a glass of dry drow spirits, would you? You've had a terrible day... Come and sit down, if you wish." His tone was more calm and collected when he began getting what he wanted out of her.
Lightly tapping the bench seats at the bar, he beckons her to sit down, while some of the girls peek out at them from the wooden doors.
Taking a set of keys from his belt, he says, "I'll make it worth your efforts."
She looked away, not making a slight effort to comply to his newest request. "Who's fault is it I had a terrible day I wonder." She rolls her eyes.
Pouring her a glass of the dark red wine, he ignores her last comment, and walks over to her, practically shoving the glass into her hand.
"These things have a way of being very tiring when you go about it for long periods of time... so you tend to lose your compassion and feelings for the ones you take onto the ship..." he begins ranting to her.
"You find that all of them are the same, the same old humans and abomination half-breeds, just ripe for the picking, and you begin to lose a sense of just who it is that these people ARE... You, however, are not so common as the others, and so perhaps it is for this reason that I enjoy seeing you not enslaved like the vast majority of these lowly little underlings, you see? It is my obligation to see to it that you, as someone else's property, are properly taken care of, and delivered, without hassle, back to your owner."
As he turns back to her, looking to see if she has toucherd her drink at all, he raises the keys once more.
"I think a smart girl like you knows when it is in her best interest to comply to the rules, don't you think?" the general of the ship lightly smiles in a manner without true ill intent, but with a knowing smirk on his face.
"If you give me what I ask of you, I may be able to find a way to make it worth your while.... But that requires trust. Not like these girls," he callously gestures toward them, "but real trust.... Something I don't have to force you into. What do you say?" he asks calmly, sipping his wine thoughtfully.
Since he entered, Forrest's shadow had not given away his presence, but now, as the enchantment is losing power, he begins to shift from shadow to a corporeal body, hid well enough alongside the wooden cages, just out of sight.
She stares down at the wine, what he said...it did't seem like it should be that easy. She felt uneasy, "The only rules I comply to are Lord Niari's." She states, raisng the glass the smelling it, then staring at the red liquid.
Setting his glass down on the bartop, he begins sifting through the keys on his ring as he walked nearer to her.
"Then perhaps you will be pleased to know that my rules are probably a bit more bearable, now that I know you only belong to him," he says as he begins to unlock her wrist shackles, while not spilling her wine in her hand. The wine itself smells sweet and dry at once.
He takes the shackles from her once removed and places them on the bartop.
"As long as Lord Niari is the only one I have to worry about coming to find you, then I suspect that you are not so dangerous as I suspected," he comments.
"You master has been well known to me for quite some time... I merely wished to know where your loyalties are. You need to learn to trust, my darling," he says with a smirk as he takes one more sip.
Pacing around for a few seconds, he glances at the collar around Lykia's neck.
"Let's talk about your little leather necklace, my dear," he begins. "Does it harm you?"
She watches him closely and cautiously as he removes her shackles. At question of her collar, a hand swiftly moves to it, "No..." She answers, then narrowing her eyes a little skeptically, "How do you know of my Master?" She gives him a look, not believing he could know of the demon lord.
Forrest shifted a little, trying to hide himself as much as possible in his fading magical cover. He listened intently, hoping to find some key information that could help him in any way.
"I am an elf of resources, my dear, and nothing passes my observations if there is anything I can do about it. Don't you worry about that. But the question you should have been thinking would have to be, 'How did I know that you weren't lying to me?'... And the answer to that is inscribed on your very essence. Your aura, my lovely, is very obviously marked with an isnignia well-known to anyone with a knowledge of the southern lands of Eastonia. No one dares to walk those regions, aside from the fearless courtierres of the Niari estate. We see things from the air here, dear. We get a clear picture of more of the whole." He smiles seductively, then loses the amorous look to become more contemplative.
"Did you come alone?" he asks. His eyes flicker around the room once.
Lykia stares at him, "Of course I didn't come alone...I brought my imaginary friend, can't you see him?" She says sarcastically, making him out as a fool as she gives a soft chuckle. "Feeling paranoid are we?" She then inquires, pushing back her crimson hair as she watchs his eyes flicker around the room. The half blood girl then goes silent for a moment, "I'm surprised m'Lord hasn't shot you out of the sky yet.." She says in a low tone, a hint of a nasty attitude present.
Raising an eye at the question posed to him, Golidere smiles at the thought.
"No, not quite."
Watching her brush her hair, he listens to her idle angry taunts, and becomes again a bit colder.
"That's because he can't see us. We wouldn't have it any other way," he responds to her comment, and turns once more away from her, and from Forrest, having forgotten his initial thought of being watched. The invisible friend taunt had served its purpose.
"I suppose it might almost even seem too nice of me to ask you to see the rest of the ship, so I think I may waste a bit more time asking you questions before I release you and I to the agonizing scrutiny of my fellow generals and legionnaires outside.... Like a damn pack of wolves, really... One of these days, when I am at the top of the chain...."
He trails off in thought, and having quickly realized it, he turns back to ask rather tepidly, "What is it that you know of anything on this ship....? Outside the slave barracks, that is...?" The mention of the tight cubby-like chambers makes him smile and blush in some strange, impure joyous manner.
The corner of Lykia's lips twitchs, "I wonder about that"...She mutters under her breath at the answer to her question. At his last question, she stares at him, becoming uneasy at his smile. "What do I know of this ship?" She repeats, then realizing herself, that she didn't know anything really, and that made her more uneasy, "What does that matter?" She asks in a more prominent voice, trying to hide her uneasyness, staring at him, her face showing discontent.
Forrest sighed. He was suprised that Golidere hadn't discovered him yet. He waited for the information to come, wondering where he really was and how he'd gotten here. The young boy couldn't believe how much trouble he'd gotten himself into.
The general cocks an eyebrow at the outburst, but turns immediately away again.
"It doesn't, really," he answers, "but it would do you good to remember about that whole trust thing we just talked about.... And if you'd prefer to go and sit before the rest of my wretched crewmates as they interrogate you of everything you've got, then I'm sure we can end the conversation here and just move onward if you'd prefer.... But then, even I'm not that stupid to return to them so soon.... They think that I'm going to kill you in here.... or else I will have recruited you to our mission. There really are no other options, unless you'd prefer slavery to having your limp body dumped from behind the ship."
The comment is really more of an ultimatum than a choice, and his voice conveys that tone very well. By the sounds of it, this guy has interrogated and killed a lot of people, and seen many battles, by the look of all his gaudy badges lining his robed outfit.
Lykia's eyes narrow a little now, "What do you mean? Why would they want to interrogate me? What 'mission'?" She says, flooding him with questions, she was confused, and didn't like the looks of things. She tightened her fist, "Aren't I the same as all the other prisoners on this ship?" She says, her voice stern.
"Now that's a silly question...." he drones, huffing lightly under his breath.
"You're nothing like the others on this ship... Even I can see that."
He stares her up and down once.
"As for the interrogation, it will happen because if both of us walk out of this room alive, and you're not on your way to the barracks once more, it could quite possibly mean that I have become traitorous against my crewmen... And since those spindly little snipes out there can't keep their noses to their own asses, they will question us both, no doubt, to the extremity of the situation... And when they have mangled enough information from us they will hang us both to dry by our insides..." he snidely inhales and turns once more to the girl.
"Which is why by the time I'm finished with you, I hope that I will have gained an ally..." and looking down at her legs, he continues looking out from beneath his brows, "a friend..."
Seeing her clear uninterest, he turns once more away.
"My other option is to tell them a damn good lie. Of course, they no doubt already know of your liaison to Lord Niari of the South... They, like I, are resourceful, you see."
Looking back to her once, "Either that or they will slay you without notice to even I... And that would be a pity, but it happens..."
He stalks around his open parlor, tapping his right elbow with his left index finger while cradling his arms on his chest.
Lykia listens, but still seems to remain unmoved, "An ally and friend? To you? One who enjoys THIS??" Her voice raises a little as she stretches out her arm in gesture to the caged women who for some reason, liked to swoon over the man. She snarls a little, "Even Master didn't confine his slaves in such a way...it baffles me why they swoon over you." She spits, then continues, "A slave ally to a slave ship...what kind of hypocrisy would that seem to be?!" She glares at him.
He raises an eyebrow.
"Confined?" he muses.
Looking past her, he turns to the large black boxes.
"Esmerelda?" he beckons.
She steps lightly out, dressed in a new sinewy robe of silk with embroidered and beaded oriental designs.
"Yes, my darling?" she says, stepping out from the door of the wall behind which Forrest is stuck behind, with only enough room to be out of sight.
"Send Marlith out. I believed she wanted to ask me something earlier whilst I was busy.." he says.
As the girl nods and goes back into another door of the black eight-foot high boxwall, he looks back into Lykia's eyes.
"I think you are mistaken in your assumptions about this ship and its matters... The slaves we carry, yes, they are as such. There is no denying it. This is a profitable business on my world. But you are no slave... At least, not in spirit... Your aura tells otherwise... You do KNOW that you're marked, don't you?" he enquires to her.
Before she can answer, the girl Marlith, the auburn-haired beauty that had exited earlier with a questioning look on her face, returns outside, hands crossed in front of her body, her eyes and lips pouty, and says, "You asked for me, Goleykins?"
Golidere chuckles lightly, closing his eyes for an instant in good humor to the comment before answering, "You wished to speak to me earlier, while I was deep in conversation with this girl, and I want to know now what it is that you wanted to say...?"
He watches on past Lykia with mildly amused curiosity.
She bites the edge of her lip out of habit, and peers around before saying, "I was just hoping that you had brought home that box of fancy face paint you promised to get me... And I know I've been asking a lot lately, but I was just really hoping that you brought it home today 'cause..."
Her voice is a strange dialect of the elven language, as a gypsy tongue to a common urban man.
"Dear, dear," he interrupts her, "Don't worry your little head off about it... It will come. I am purchasing it from Rolduun in Horamont, and we land there tomorrow's eve for fuel before moving on homeward, remember?"
She stares at him blankly for just a few moments, before going wide-eyed, and inhaling deeply.
"Oh, alright, yes I remember... Gee, that was pretty silly of me..."
She begins to get giddy again, and Golidere suddenly loses his patience with the dramatics of his harem.
"Very well, is that all?" he asks her.
She nods voraciously, looking only once at Lykia.
"Then go, back in to bed with you... There will be no time tonight for me... I have many things to deal with... Three stray crew members and this one here.." he strays to her figure while the girl is quickly exiting.
"Quite another reason for me to be reluctant to further our exit from this room... Damn slaves. If it were more profitable to kill them all, I would. But then, that's not really the point of the game...." he trails off.
Coming back to attention as he looks her up and down.
"But you," he begins, "you are no slave as they are.... You are a precious stone of uniquity abounding. There is none like you..... And I would bet good money that you are a scrapping little fighter, brute and fast, is my word.... Am I right?"
He grins impeccably.
Lykia's expression looked as though she may be sick as she rolls her eyes at the display, then pouting in slight defeat of her argument.She folds her arms in from of herself, "Disgusting lap dogs." She mutters at first, seeing the antics of his harem,looking slightly more angry at the speak of how little he held their worth. She then speaks up,"MArked?" she says now that she had the chance to speek, furrowing her brows together, confused."Stone of uniquity abounding? What makes me so special? All because my mother was raped by a demon, resulting in her concieving me? My parents shamefull secret...a child not of my mothers husband, the only father I had?" She retorts, "There is NOTHING about my filthy blood that makes me so unique, it's a shamefull burden, nothing else." She was now fidgeting, shifting her weight back and forth, from one foot to the other. She had now herself forgotten about Forrest's presence as she ranted. She then scoffs, "Fighter? Do I look anything like a fighter to you?" She says, gesturing to her attire that would suit a scantly clad priestess, or in her case, someone's pet. Of course though, a few little white lies to this man didn't bother her much.
Forrest was quickly getting tired of hiding in this tightly confined space. Slowly he slid into a crouched position to stretch his muscles. This was taking longer than he expected, why can't these people just quit ranting and stick to business? He knew he had been forgotten.
He began to answer her about her aura marking, but as she began to rave about her own bloodline, he found it more amusing to let her rant and rave about it.
"My dear, if you were not unique, then you would most likely end up as a barmaiden or a whore, of which it is obvious you are not... Well, at least not when we picked you up."
He grins wildly.
"I am sorry to hear that your conception was not a planned event, nor, perhaps, was it what your soul had intended for you when you entered this world... BUT," he exclaimed rather more loudly than his normal tone, "you are indeed an exception to normality, and in my book, that means that you are unique."
He begins to walk past her, in the direction of the harem's quarters and their entrances. He has an odd look on his face when he passes by her, but continues speaking.
"My comrades would probably look upon you as an abomination, an act of filth and degeneration of the elven bloodlines... As you obviously regard yourself....... Pitiful waste to see such negativity in such a beautiful creature," he speaks, slowly wandering his way nearer to the black cabinets that line the parlor walls.
As he nears the cabinets, the thought of Forrest re-enters Lykia's mind in a flash of memory.
"As for your appearance..." he begins, flashing her a smile over his shoulder, "It matters not what you seem to be, since it is very obvious to me that you are not all of what you seem."
He paces about the room, only steps away from where Forrest hides, who is now alerted to the danger of being caught.
"But you need not prove anything to me.... If you are no fighter, then I would think that there is little that you can offer my crew..... Aside from the obvious, of course." He smiles a wicked, seductive smile at her.
"However, if I could perhaps convince my crew that you were a prized possession of our good little Niari, and a seasoned warrior.... Well, then, that might be more worthy of their concern.... And your life might even be spared," he taunts her with the insinuation of a threat to her life.
He seems to dismiss her question about her marked aura.
Lykia's anger grew, making the collar around her neck cause her irritation, as it prohibited any magical abilities she
concealed. At the same time, it was as though a cold chill went down her back, Forrest... she thought. She knew she had to get the man away from him before he was seen, some how...Her fist were clenched, knuckles white. She began to walk, slowly moving opposite of Golidere, moving one leg over the over, moving sideways; if he wished to keep her in his sights, she would make sure he kept his back to Forrests direction. She forced herself to keep eye contact with him, disgusted at the same time by each of his expressions.
"So my options are to be an object of your crew's lusts, as these women are to you - an 'ally' as you say - and aid you, or death?" She grits her teeth, "Your words...are not any that I shall fall prey to."
Her eyes for a moment seem to flash.
"Where do you think you are going?" he begins to ask, when there is a sound at the entranceway. It a belltone of sorts, a ringing gong, or something similar.
"Damn!" he curses as he strides past her to smack his hand against a panel on the wall beside the door. A light flashes across it, and the door opens.
Standing just outside the doorway, another elf, one of the high soldiers, stands tall and says aloud, "General Golidere, the council wishes not to interrupt you, but there has been some problems that are not being handled well. Three of the slaves are nowhere to be found, and..." he pauses.
"Is she no longer shackled, sire?" he suddenly asks, in reference to Lykia.
"Yes, of course," he says, turning back to her only once. "I unlocked her cuffs when we had decided that she would join the crew and our warriors... Wait here, and I will come with you. Let me take care of this first."
He turns to Lykia, giving her a look of commanding.
"I am going to go and deal with these problems. When I return, we will talk more. Don't do anything irrational."
His voice begins by sounding courteous and sound, but becomes cold and angry as he finishes.
Without waiting for an answer, he walks away from her, pushing the elven soldier ahead and closing the door once more.
It locks with an airy locking sound, and she is left alone in the giant parlor room...... Alone, except for Forrest and the harem who are within their own compartments.
A huge feeling of relief washes over her as he is gone.
From his hiding place, Forrest can only assume that he was not found, even with Golidere walking ever so close to his position.
"Is he... gone?" Forrest muttered.
"For now...I guess..." Lykia says, her temper tiding over as she lets out a deep sigh, dropping to her knee's. "That man...angers me."
"I can tell why." Forrest stood up, "The way he speaks like he knows everything and he's superior to everyone just sickens me. So, what do you plan on doing now? Personally this whole situation annoys the heck outta me."
"I don't know..." She says, taking some of her crimson hair over her shoulder, twining it through her fingers, "If this ship is in the air...there isn't much we can do until it lands, is there?"
"True." Forrest further examined the room, "But that leaves me with nothing to do but hide until we land."
Upon inspection of the interiors of the personal chambers of the general, Forrest finds that the room is two conjoined, somewhat skewed semi-rectangular rooms with a wide archway separating the main quarters from the secondary room, which Forrest had been hiding in, behind the line of entrances into other rooms that sat behind the foreward wall of this room.
Along with the harem chamber doors, the secondary room also contains another door to a small water closet, and a cupboard door of some glossy, unknown substance, which emanates a low droning sound constantly.
It is obvious that the technologies employed on this ship are much beyond the comprehension of either Lykia or Forrest, though it made sense about the flying ship in both their minds after re-considering their initial kidnappings.
When they had dropped out of the skyship on top of an Eastonian monastery that Lykia had been passing on her travels... When they had come in the dark, on the starry night when Forrest had been taken from the tower top....
These elves were of a different sort, that was to be sure of.
In the primary room, where the bedchambers lay, there is also a large portion of the wall dedicated to a flat grey panel that lays silent and foreboding, but not entirely understood either. It seemed alive as it hummed, though nothing seemed to move across its face. Could it, though?
Although none of the girls had returned from their chambers, it was possible that they could at any moment, and the thought of it makes both of them nervous of being too audible.
"Then you better find a better hiding place..so those women don't see you." Lykia says.
After a few moments of silence, aside from the strange droning and humming, the situation seemed to hit Lykia. She looked around the room, "This place....scares me." She announces in a low voice. "Master's place wasn't as freaky as this." She then mumbles to herself. The crimson haired elf rises, and begins to pace, her eyes darting occasionally at the grey panel. A moment later she made her decison and strode towards it, coming closer and inspecting it. She puts an ear close to it, listening. She then raises a fist to it, as if to knock, but decides against it, instead, the elf reaches out a finger and pokes it.
As Forrest soon finds, the nook he had hidden behind was in fact the most sensible hiding place in the open. Quickly becoming angry with the lavish and sinewy elven furnishings and their total lack of concealment, he is about fed up when he dicovers a small grey panel door, that upon touching a pad beside it, opens to reveal an oversized lavatory and full shower stall.
Remembering his earlier tactic with the magical darkness taught to him by his friend Dtalk, it seems like the most affordable place of hiding, though without the easy audibility that the previous crook in the wall had offered.
At first, the darker grey horizontal wall panel made no noise, not even a hiss. When still a small distance away from it, it remained still and silent like a brooding beast. Before her finger could adequately feel the solid surface of the box, it comes alive from the center of its open face, a white line across, a white line up, and expansion.
It was a black background, borken only by a set of seductive, deep female elven eyes floating in the darkness, accompanied by the presence of Elven script, a dialect that featured pictographic heiroglyphs as a portion of their script. Though strange, it was decipherable to Lyika as:
Giolittti's Hardcore Elfporn Dungeon!!!The Greatest Hardcore XXX Telecom System Available to the Free World!
USER ID : ElfHunkStudMan20405
Detecting security settings... Please Wait.
A small ticker bounces back and forth across a tiny horizontal tube on this living screen whose image looked like moving paint. The soft matte feel of the surface of the panel held no motion, though the color and image moved beneath her fingers.
Suddenly, the screen changes, and it reads:
SECURITY PROTECTION ENABLED
User unidentified, Settings cancelled.
Please re-register your unit to re-access.
The screen changes once more, to a list of choices, written in fine elven script:
º TeleCom SystemUnit
^IndLine001 : Volodorux
Connected... Retrieving data
^IndLine003 : Yiolodule
^IndLine045 : InDyle
º Ship Access
º Message System
º Personal Alert
º System Alert
º Virtual System
º Heirocratic File Support
º Personal Files and Data
º Remote Assistance
Then, after only moments of pause, it changes:
^IndLine001 : Volodorux
-Open System Lines
-Dysphasian Heiratic Courts System Polynode
Lykia immediatly screams...a high pitched echooing scream, this while thrusting herself backwards away from the screen and through the air, landing on her back several meters away and quickly scooting backwards along the floor till she thinks she's at a safe distance. By now Lykia appeared quite frazzled, eye's bulging and gasping for breath while clutching her heart. She stares at the screen, "What the hell is this???!!" She panics, "Oh my god...the wall is alive...what kind of magic is this??" She panics, nearly hyperventilating. She slowly stands, legs still shaking, "What are you??" She demands of the screen, not getting a response, she darts forward, hitting the screen, trying to push it and quickly returns to where she previously stood, gawking at it. All the while she's mumbling, "Oh my god, oh my god....etc"
A lithe, auburn-haired elven haremess comes slinking out of the small dark grey panel doorway, to look up at Lykia as she leans against the wall of the room.
"What are you doing? It's master's TeleScreen. Don't be scared. It's okay," she comes out, raising both hands in a 'calm-down' manner, and speaking softly to her.
"It's alright. Here. Let me help. It's okay. Look," she walks quickly up the small stairwell to the room, and over to the screen, reaching out for Lykia's hand.
"If you come close to it, it will become alive, yes, but do not fear. It is not alive as we are. It is TeleCom. It is a 'device'. Here."
She reaches out to touch a small green X-mark in the lower-right-hand corner, and the screen changes again from its now completely changed screen, which it had fung back back and forth between as Lykia had been touching, pushing, and hitting the touch-sensitive soft screen, which was like ooze-filled snakeskin when she had touched it and gave softly beneath her hands.
It becomes a black screen with only a single box of letters, reading:
Thank you for using TeleCom
"See, it's okay. It's Off now."
The brown-haired girl steps lightly toward Lykia, trying to soothe her with her words and actions.
Forrest, meanwhile, who had been inspecting the luxurious lavatory just off from the other room, had peeked around the corner when he had heard Lykia scream, only to look out as the other elven girl came out of the room just opposite his own doorway.
Quickly hiding behind the wall in instinct, Forrest now found that he was again trapped in yet another place, though this time with a bit more leg room. Fearing he would be seen or heard, in a reactive flash, he had closed the door again, and hid in silent darkness, which was lit enough to still see within.
A shower of large proportions lie to his right, just past a set of cupboard doors that stood from floor to ceiling. Beyond the closed door into the room on his left, was another set of cupboard, though only half the other's height, resting on the ground. A vanity of high elven appearance, though made of a tough, slick grey material, sits just further, and opposite of it rests the lavatory, a seat with a lid. A set of three buttons protrudes from the wall behind and above it, and a stack of reading pamphlets and bound books and papers sits on the floor to both sides of the seat.
Across the room from his position, a set of doors rest closed, though a uniform and set of common elven clothers betray its nature: a wardrobe.
A lock normally keeps it closed, but having hung his clothes over the door panel for later, the right-side door lies just cracked open.
Outside, the elven haremess (sp?) says to Lykia, "It's okay. I'm Alytrase. Oh, you look afright. Don't be worried."
Some of the other girls peered out, but having seen Ally with the new girl, they ducked slowly back into their dens, having been cured of their concern that the girl may have been in danger of something.
"Shssh, shsh," Alytrase cooes.
"Alright," smiling, she recommends, "I say you need something to drink, yeah? Here, sit on the bed. Did Lord Golidere give you wine yet? We have sheh, here, let me get you a glass of it. It's delicious... You're not used to this kind of stuff, are you?"
She attempts to rest Lykia slowly to the bed, and afterward walks to the cupboard doors of the grey and lilac-colored bar between the wall and the large screen, which is now completely dark grey in appearance once more.
Lykia's already normally large violet eyes are even wider than normal. She finds herself becoming confused rather quickly. She blinks at the other girl, semi in disbelief. She was used to the harem women at her Master's being much different, very skittish and always afraid, and usually, being very cruel towards Lykia. The crimson haired elf then attempts to put on an act as though she was ok, collecting herself, "I wouldn't drink anything that wretched man would give me." She says rather spitefully. The girls attempt to get Lykia on the bed ended in Lykia only being willing enough to sit right on the edge, almost falling off.
"Oh, come now, don't be so rash. He's still out. I can see you dislike him... It's okay. I was angry when I first arrived here too... I came from Torea, in Zendelon, when they first took me. They said I might be a half-blood, because I looked too human sometimes...." she continues lightly, still pouring two glasses of the fine, greenish blush wine, and bringing them over to her.
"When they brought me on the ship, I was so scared... I had never seen technology like this before, and it was all so much to take... But then, after they did a blood test upon me, they said that I was full-blooded elf, and decided that I was still good enough to keep on hand...."
She tries to hand the slender glass to Lykia, who still appears fraught with concern.
"I promise I'm not trying to hurt you. I just want to talk... I can understand a little of what you're going through... You're going to love Dysphasia, though, I'm sure."
Lykia takes the glass, though reluctantly. "How can you be taken from your home and come to love this place? I'm not one to talk, really...but I wasn't taken from my home and lifestyle unwillingly the first time I was 'abducted'" She says in a skeptical tone.
"The others say that you're a succubus.... But that's not true.... Is it? I think that maybe you're just different... That's all, right?" she asks lightly, hoping to calm the girl's nerves with some small talk.
"Succubus? Hmph, not exactly." She looks up for a moment, "What makes them think that, exactly? They said it before I gave a show..." Then, lowering her head for a moment she whispers, "Demon." Then speaking loud enough for the other woman to make out her words, "My mother was raped by a demon." The crimson haired half blood then looks up at the other girl, watching to see what kind of reaction she would get.
"Oh, my... Goodness, that sounds terrifying," she exclaims lightly at Lykia's answer to her curiosities.
"Well, I guess the girls are just scared of you, that's all... You know, scared of what they're not used to, I guess."
Ally smiles courteously, hoping that Lykia would come to trust her.
"As for what happened to me... Gosh, it was so long ago, I guess it's been a long time since I've thought about what I was like in those days... I was rash, and quick to action... I had many days of adventure in my home forests," she describes her younger days.
"When the ships first came, no one really knew that they were here to take people away, and when someone DID find out, it was often AFTER they were already gone from everything they ever knew, and could do nothing about it... such was the way it was for me... They took me, just like they probably took you... Armored troops came out of the belly of a ship I had never seen before, especially a ship that could fly like a giant iron dragon. I used to think that was so strange, but after having lived on Dysphasia for as long as I have, it seems so much more normal to me now, these days."
She sighs lightly, looking down into her lap.
"I do miss the way it was before sometimes.... But it is so much better for us on Dysphasia. I don't really like flying much on these long trips, but when we get back home, Golly... I mean, General Golidere allows us a lot of freedoms.... And it is so easy for us, because he has so much freedom himself. He is very luxurious, even he does seem a bit difficult. We girls just go with it, and stick out the long trips away from home, and when we get back onto Elven soil, it's just such a release... We often have great parties in Maiaya... It's a lot of fun."
Alytrase can see the doubts in Lykia's eyes, and it seems that she is a lot more aware of things than the others appeared when they had confronted her before the general had entered.
Lykia's brows furrow, listening and taking it in for a moment. Even in her doubt, she couldn't stop herself from thinking this may not be as bad as it seems...she shook the thought from her mind, the fact that she thought that angered her, and she put a hand to her head. "I...don't understand..." She had been through a lot in the past few days, and felt the wall she put up being torn down slowly, "My master..." She came to a lose of words, her and Alytrase's environment's of confinement seemed so different. "I was taken willingly by my Master...I don't fully understand why I let myself be captured. I was wandering from villiage to villiage..I stumbled upon one that was admist an attack by demons, I hid and watched. I think I wanted to know more about them, but at the same time, I seen their leader...a demon lord." She giggles a little, skidishly, "You would have to see him to understand, standing there, tall and handsome, commanding his minions...his eyes were fearless, he emanated strength. He was a great statagist, cunning and persuasive...I think I was enamored with him at first sight." She says nostalgically, "I knew he would find me...just the sound of my heart beating would not escape his ears...I think I knew this, yet I stayed, I was so intrigued..." Lykia realizes she's been babbling on and stops, "I should have never left home...My Master set me free not long ago, and look where I end up..." She couldn't help but compare the differences between the environment of her old master, and the one here, she hated knowing it sounded like the woman here had the better deal.
"Oh, no, please don't say that... It's not so bad. I know this seems like a lot to deal with, and it sounds like you've had a lot of other things on your mind... But I promise that it's not so bad once you get the hang of things around here... Well, okay, maybe not HERE, since this ship is kind of boring and dumpy..." Ally answers, smiling a little and giggling momentarily, with a hand to her mouth.
"Did your master not want you around?" she asks, curious to find out more about Lykia's old way of life.
Lykia's face turned slightly red, "Uh..hmm.." He had left her confused to the full extent of the reasons she was released, "I...don't think that was it..." She looks away, "No one was ever released...everyone else was killed when he didn't want them anymore...but he brought me to the border and told me to go..." Lykia stopped there, she didn't want to say anything that would anger Niari, and advertising his relationship with his pet to be closer than it should be may be one of the things that could easily set him off.
Ally remains quiet for a few moments, reading over Lykia's face with thought and concern.
"Maybe," she began, and paused, perhaps struck with confusion over what she thought about that.
"Maybe... it's possible that he came to.... understand... or even accept you. Maybe he even... loved you." she spat out at last, hoping she hadn't said the wrong thing.
"Sometimes I think that Golidere appreciates us... Especially... Well, I just know that he has said to me before," and here her voice remains low as a whisper, so as not to inform the other girls of her thoughts, "that he loves me... But sometimes he just says that to make the girls stay quiet and nice to him... But it seemed so... different, when he said it to me that night..."
She pauses, considering.
"Well, I'm sure he could have said that to any of us... but then, we're still here with him as though he owns us. Things are very different on Dysphasia, especially compared to Torea, my homelands. Women are treated differently... And we should both consider ourselves lucky we're not...." she stops short, realizing her folly, and Lykia intuitively knows her final words would have been 'half-bloods'.
She looks down, embarrased she had said it at all, hoping beyond hopes that Lykia didn't know what she was talking about.
The look on her face plainly shows her concern over the fact of Lykia's mixed bloodline, and her folly of expecting that she would be treated the same as any other elven female.
"I'm sorry, I am just speaking as if I do not think of my words before I speak them..." she confesses.
Lykia smiles a little at first, "Perhaps he did. He never did say it..,maybe indirectly...but he would be too proud to out right say that...I was his 'precious pet'."
Listening to the rest, Lykia furrows her brows once again, "And what exactly do they do to half-bloods?"
Worry washes across the girl's beautiful face.
"Well, according to Dysphasian laws, any half-elf with human blood is abomination by definition, and therefore is free only to survive. Most often, half-bloods are sent to be enslaved, often hired out as protitutes after having their Essential Organs removed, to keep them from breeding outside the bloodline.... Sometimes a lucky abom... Half-blood," she corrects herself, hoping not to instill further anger in the girl. She continues, "will be given their freedom if it is permitted by the Heiratic Courts, and then they can live in Shatter, the Free World, with the other free slav... humans."
She takes a deep breath, thinking over her words.
"It's so hard sometimes to not call others the things that everyone else calls them... I don't think of all humans as slaves, because I know so many freed slaves, but it is common for Dysphasians to refer to all humans as slaves, and half-bloods as abominations... It is a strange and difficult world to understand, but it is worth being the willing haremess of a star General, when you are treated with respect. No Dysphasian, or anyone else for that matter, would dare to lay a hand on a prized harem of a Maiayan General, if they knew what was good for them. We are prized like valuable relics, because we are the ones that keep the elven bloodline whole and good... Plus, we're cute, and we usually get what we want when we give our consort what he wants," she comments, smiling slightly at the thought of being cute.
"Believe it or not, I am actually appreciated here, when I may be otherwise treated somewhere else..." she explains, then adds, "From what I hear, though, I don't think that Golly... Golidere thinks of you like a half-blood. He sounded like he wants you around... This is good for you. It gives you a way out of being sold off to be someone worse's slave... or whore."
"What about half-bloods that aren't human? My mother was an elf." Lykia asks, though, her tone sounded like she didn't really care. "When I was with my Master, no one else touched me...ever, not even the other slaves were allowed. Master was vicious in that way...anyone who did, was SEVERLY punished, or killed...the loyals of demons is strange, out of fear they obey their Lord..though he does as he pleases, even kill his followers for pleasure." Lykia's eyes narrow a little at remembering the brutality.
A few moments after the comment on becoming on of the General's, Lykia turns slightly bitter, "A Princess is neither a slave, nor a whore to some stuck up excuse for an elven man." She declares, not really worrying about this girl knowing her origins, though even the air around Lykia seemed to change for a moment as she spoke. She herself almost forgot who she was.
"Well, you aren't half human, you're right, and that is most likely why Golidere is interested in you.... Humans are looked down upon like a pest, but you are unique. It is strange to say that he looks upon you differently than on us. He looks upon you like he looks at his soldiers before he recruits them as crewmen. Not like one of his harem," she explains in a coy manner to Lykia's question of half-blooded prisoners.
Ally then listens to Lykia's words in thoughtful silence, and continued to sit thinking on the memories the girl conjured forth before her.
"Yes, but is it not true that your master is not here with..." Ally begins to debate lightly with Lykia, except that her words are interrupted in mid-sentence by a sound that attracts both of their attention, quieting Alytrase momentarily.
There is a loud but softly played tone that is emitted from somewhere near the ceilings above them, that is like a ringing/humming, and brief. Thereafter, a droning, somewhat artificial-sounding voice speaks:
RUNNING THERMAL SCAN ON QUADRANT FOUR, ROOM EIGHT, PLEASE REMAIN CALM AND WELL
All Ally can manage is an, "Oh," before a beam of bright, vivid green runs the extent of the room as if lit from every wall, perfectly parallel to the floor and the other beams. It sweeps across every object and surface from the floor to the ceiling in less than six seconds, though for Lykia, the unfelt beam of cool inert non-magical light seemingly takes forever to crawl cross her body before it sweeps under her terse and instinctively-raised feet to the floor and disappears.
Another similar but different tone is emitted from somewhere above the girls' heads, and there is silence for a few seconds.
In the lavatory, Forrest experiences the same activity.
Lykia became stiff as a board, and squeezed her eyes shut. She was sure it was some spell, and her breathing jumped, becoming fast paced. Once the light disappears, she opens her eyes startled, giving herself a look over with an expression that indicated she expected to be missing limbs or be equipped now with tentacles and antannae. She looks to Ally, "WHat the...?" She doesn't finish her sentence, but looks to Ally for the answer. She was now more or less scared out of her wits, still stiff, and at the same time shaking.
"Oh, it was just..." she begins again, but is interrupted by a scratchy sound above them, which quickly dies off to be followed by a real elven voice with a heavy Dysphasian accent.
"Yes, there are," it speaks as if to someone else nearby somewhat quietly, then loudens with vigor.
"There are nine bodies present in the vicinity of this room. Ally, I have you on Monitor, along with the other female. I have six other heat signals in your quarters, but I have another hot body in the lavatory reliefs. Who is that?"
As if standing behind the elven male speaking, the sound of Golidere's voice can be heard as if over his shoulder saying, "Lock down the rooms."
The other elven voice speaks again from the ceiling, "Back away from the doors."
As if they had time to move if they hadn't...
The panels to every harem girl's room snaps shut in one swift blow, there is a latch that clicks solidly across the front double door to the parlor, and a hissing sound that shuts the lavatory door in a quick instant, sealing Forrest in with a definitive Clack!.
Ally scrunches her eyebrows in concern and thought.
"Nine of us? Me, you, the other six? That only makes eight?" she counts aloud, raising her hands in confusion.
"Who's using the relief area?" she asks somewhat laxadasically, huffing out one single chuckle.
Over the loudspeaker, Golidere answers her to himself.
"We're going to find that out right now, aren't we Altrosinac?" he signals to the elf, and their voice cuts out from the room, though its voice can still be heard through the walls as it addresses Forrest's presence.
"We have you in confinement. Do not move. Remain where you are, or risk certain death, or worse."
"Oh my goodness, there was someone there this whole time?" Ally looks horridly shocked. She shivers.
The crimson haired elf gasps, eyes wide, "Oh no..." Her eyes dart towards the lavatory, then back to Ally, "What are they doing?" She was at a loss, she didn't know what to do. She wasn't one to enjoy the feeling of being helpless. She didn't even really know Forrest, but she still worried; without him, she would have no one on her side, and she would be left to deal with the situation on her own.
"They must have someone in the relief area... But who is it? One of the girls?" Ally asks aloud.
As if in reply, the loudspeak above them clicks lightly on again, and Golidere's voice can be heard behind someone again, "I have all the girls on Monitor. This is not one of them, my dear."
The elf in front says aloud, "And he's not answering. I don't have any Monitor in Relief, only sound."
In the other room, the voice continues, no longer affecting the room with Lykia and Alytrase. Forrest hears the voice of Altrosinac loud and clear.
"State your name. There are armed troops surrounding you, and ready to neutralize you at any cost. There is no escape."
In all reality, the doors to Golidere's apartments were still steadfastly locked for the moment, and the elven mercenaries were still running to get to the door.
To Forrest's imagination, the thought of fourty armed elven martial fighters, like the ones that had issued them around the ship like rats, all standing outside of his door with the girl's shrieking unheard around them seemed entirely possible in the room outside. In the small room that seemed to blare with white noise and the loud Dysphasian voice in the walls, it was as if the world had stood still. All fourty of them could be armed with weapons too strong to survive.
On the heat signals from the room on the elves' monitoring equipment, the temperature around Forrest slowly rises.
Shortly after the call is made from the loud speaker above them, a troop of heavily armored elves opens the main doors to the parlor in a flash. Their bodies are covered from head to toe in a gleaming menagerie of banded armor that extends to cover every single portion of their flesh from sight. The twenty or so troops are armed, most with blades of shining steel, but a few are armed with a long, hollow club that they carry sideways, tucked inside their arms. No words are heard as they enter, and the silence could almost be ignored by Lykia and Ally, who watch on in horrified curiosity.
They quickly streak through the room, the whole pack of them, as though one single living unit, and cluster in the rear portion of the room, surrounding the small lavatory door. Swords armed to be ready, hinged to their wrists by tiny cords of black steel, their long club-tubes pointed to the door. One of the men, who carried a thicker tube that had no hollow center, walks quickly to the door, to place the end of the tube against the door, and after a count of three on the fingers of one of the soldiers near to the door, a nearly-silent, pummeling force to the door, and it crinkles in half without a hitch.
Forrest is terrified long enough to only fear the invisible voice that spoke to him, then the door is warped in half as quickly as you could breathe, and surrounding the door, twenty black steely elven-eared figures are barreling into the room, filtering in through a warm glow that could be seen shimmering in the doorway, and surrounding the horrified Forrest.
One of them pummels him to the ground with the butt end of his hollow tube, and he surprised by the action, which knocks him out, making him crumple to the ground.
Wasting no time, the elves are upon him like flies, holding him fast and snapping a set of fine elven manacles on his wrists and feet. Lifting him from the floor between a set of four soldiers, it took a total of fourty seconds or them to enter both rooms and secure their prisoner.
A few of them look Lykia and Ally up and down for a few moments on their way out the main parlor door, though they say nothing, except for the one from the front of the line, who looks at them and speaks to them, in a voice now not unfamiliar, like that of the speaker above them, but perhaps not the same person....just scratchy and spoken as if through a tube or tunnel.
"Just stay there. You are fine, and we are finished. There is no further threat to you. Return to wellbeing, and dismiss our presence. The door will be repaired in due time, but for now, just try to manage your own privacy while using Relief. Thank you."
There is one other noise, almost indistinct until now, that is a light Click every time the voice begins or finishes something spoken. Strange to hear it like that, but still not too strange. The voice is most certainly elven dialect, though heavy with the Dysphasian twinge that most on this ship have acquired.
Ally shivers once as they haul Forrest out of the room above their shoulders.
"And to think that he was with us in here this whole time....." she worries, holding herself in discomfort. "I thought we were safe..."
Her words are worrisome, until she looks directly at Lykia, and her face begins to take on a different look.
After all others have left, she asks quietly, "Was he here because...?"
Her words end because of something else that has caught her attention, the screen.
From behind Lykia, the face of Golidere is looking at them both in sympathetic relief.
"We have secured the prisoner, and are still searching for two others, who are trapped in the ethereal folds somewhere congruent to this ship. Alytrase, take care of our guest until I return this evening. There may not be much time for sleep tonight, I fear." He speaks as though watching her face on some other screen in his presence. For a newcomer, it is unfamiliar and alien in its sensation, yet not unknown to some vague spark of intelligence inside herself that makes her wonder if all of this could have been predestined to some time before all of elven creation. They had bound magic to material, and seamlessly. It was disorienting sometimes to recognize it for Lykia.
"We are okay. I'll wait up for you," Ally answers.
"No need," he replies on the screen, losing his smile. "It may not end tonight. I will confer with you tomorrow, perhaps. Good night to you both."
The screen shuts down to deep grey once more, and the very light hissing sound that accompanies it is silenced again.
"I think we are off Monitor again..." is all Ally can manage, looking around the room once more.
Lykia fell into a mild case of shock, they had Forrest, and they were looking for two others…yes, she remembered those two that had vanished soon after she arrived, she thought they were long gone. She tried to calm down, there were so many things she didn’t understand, the strange soldiers, the voices without any visible bodies. The soldiers words rang through her head, ‘There is no further threat to you.’…This was quite the contrary, any comfort she previously felt of not being completely alone in her imprisonment, was now demolished as it occurred to her, she was now on her own in this foreign object with foreign people and things, she felt less safe after this incident than ever before. She then thought of Ally’s words, ’ I thought we were safe...’, and silently agreed, they had been safe, but no longer were, though she interpreted the situation differently than Ally would.
When Golidere’s voice came, Lykia nearly jumped as she turned to peer at the screen, mouth slightly open, What is this??! She thought to herself as it dawned upon her…how would she stand a chance against things she knew nothing about? She had never heard of magic like this before…could it be dispelled? Countered? She had no idea, and it frustrated her. She slowly sunk to the floor, her back against the bed as Ally announces she thought they were off monitor…What did it all mean? He could watch them and detect their presences no matter where they were? This frightened Lykia greatly. “How could this be any worse?” She whispered out loud, the look of shock still apparent on her face.
Ally immediately looked down at her, but did not answer for some moments. There was an obvious clicking noise that Alytrase did not pay particularly close attention to as she cooed, "Oh, you poor thing, you probably don't understand anything of what's happened, do you?"
The click had been the safety latch on the girls' doorways unlatching, and just moments afterward, three of the doors open to reveal five elven harem looking around the room.
"What happened?" one of the blondes asked, "We couldn't hear anything in there, and we were asked if we were all present and in good condition.... Was something happening?"
The other girls pipe up too.
"Was there a slave escape?"
"Did they catch them?"
"It doesn't look like there was any struggle in here..."
"No, it doesn't."
"Are you alright, Ally?"
"Yes, I'm fine. You missed everything, but I will tell you later when I arrive to bed.... I'm talking with Lykia, and she is not doing so well, so I must ask you to leave us be. Be pardoned," Alytrase answers fluently. It was this moment that caused to Lykia to see the beautiful elf's age.
The other girls nod and back off, awaiting the stories they would hear when she arrived back to their quarters, whispering to each other and closing the door panels behind them.
It was becoming apparent that Ally was young at heart, but it could be possible that she was the eldest of the harem, and a bit more wise.
She looks around the room once more, then closes her eyes, listening to the slightest of sounds.
"I do not hear the hissing. We are not on Monitor."
She looks deeply into Lykia's eyes.
"I have a confession to make.... I am Awake too. I am not like the other girls, who are Sleeping. I am aware. I know of the terrors that you speak of. I feared them once, because they sought to destroy my ego, my will. I resisted, and won. Many have not. I can see in your heart's desires that you will not go down without a fight. It is in your eyes. You are scared of this place you find yourself inside, but you cannot be hopeless. I will tell you this now, because there may not be many times that we will have the pleasure of speaking it openly again. Be warned, I am a Freedom Fighter. I fight for the Cause, the Children of Eloa. Do you know of them?"
Lykia only glanced at the other women, then purposely looked in the opposite direction until they left, "Gullible slaves" She whispered in a very low tone, not meaning it to be heard by anyone.
After listening to Ally, Lykia stared at her, it was becoming apparent that Ally wasn't who she appeared to be, just as Lykia wasn't initially who she appeared to be. "Eloa? I think I've heard that term from one of my teachers." She thought about it, her teachers lectures were nothing but a blur to her, she'd zone out during most of her studies if it didn't envolve
magic, fighting, or demons, besides, it had already been three years; this momentarily surprised her. She turned her attention back to Ally, "Freedom Fighter?" She rose an eyebrow slightly, the first thing to come to mind was
an over zealous priest on a horse, brandishing a sword and preaching obnoxiously while trying to play Crusader.
"We dismiss the Cause of the Dysphasian Heirocracy, and destroy it slowly, like the mold destroys the corpse, consuming it into oblivion. These people, the Dysphasian elves, the Ascended Ones, they have a system. If you are pure of blood, a full elf, a true immortal fae, then you are Awake, and shall always be. The Grugach are still that way, wild in the hidden jungles coves, and the magocracy of Iirste denies any affiliation to the Lauthenasian Oligarchs or the Maiayan Heirocratic Capitol in New Lanath that want to Calm the unworthy, the abominations.... They are old-minded elderly elves misers rolling their overwhelming fae wealth, the gems and coins of old. Some claim they harbor SoulGems, terrible shards of wonder that still retain the souls of a once-shattered cosmos as their payment for age-old questionable deeds to terrible overlords. They say there might even be a King, an overlord Oligarch of the Unseelie, a king of life and death, who has a passion for building upon the technology of the past eons, when the people who built it all disappeared in the Great Vanishing."
Looking at the doorways to the others' apartments, she says, "These girls are all third or fourth generation abominations who have been Calmed and Sterilized. They cannot think for themselves and cannot breed. They are manipulated to act in a way that is like a low-thought version of their own consciousness, and they are unable to trance for any hour of the day, so they pack into dance clubs and fuck around like sterile rabbit toy dolls. They giggle and cry like real girls, but they obey the Cause. No one knows how the Cause is able to be obeyed so whole-heartedly by the Calmed, but it is unearthly and terribly untrustworthy. The Awakened care not to discuss it, and almost seem themself true to the Cause in its every form. I am his Nurse and Consort-to-be, and I have no need to be Calmed like they. I am pure of blood, and apparently that matters. I do not care who my progeny were, only what my death will be, and it shall be one of honour, where the Anti-Cause shall make itself known. Do not ever speak that word again. There is nothing but the Cause, and everything that is against it is not able to remain Unjudged. Everything that is not elven is to be judged by the Awake, and dispersed accordingly, according to the Heirocratic Cause, which causes the most neutral Order, according to them. There is no neutrality in Dysphasian Order. It is too old, too much, and not in the best interest of the Elven souls. We were made to die, and we are not doing it as it should happen. now there is the slavery, and it is all wrong. But so far, no one has changed. No one wants to... except us. We are the ones who fight back. We want individuality to reign once more, and not the Heirocracy. The Oligarchs are too interested in their immense wealth that they have no need to overthrow the Heirocracy, and the mages of Iirste do not think that the technocrats are an issue. They claim that it is only another kind of magic, which has always been revered by elvenkind in all its forms. It is...."
She pauses. There is a light hissing in the room.
"Alytrase, dear, are the men gone?" Golidere asks from his space in that tube-like voice that overlaps the hissing.
"Yes, my dear, I have been calming Lykia on the situation. It seems that she is not used to these sorts of problems, and I am just reassuring her. It is all new to her, you know."
Alytrase smiles at her for only a moment.
"Good. See to it that she is afforded a space to rest when she needs to trance, if that is her way. I am not sure of demonic sleep, nor if she needs it.
"I have many good things in mind for the Lady Lykia. It seems that her demonic portions are in steady regression because of her lifestyle in the physical world, and she is eligible for warrior training, as I surmised she would be best suited." His smirking face can practically be heard in his words.
"See to it that she is informed of the benefits of that sort of lifestyle, and suggestably remarked to it. I will speak more with her of it when I am done with business. We are nearly to Horamont, and I am going to be dealing with a lot more than just the Lady Lykia, and so I entrust you to administer the proper information about the Cause."
Her face does not afford any disdain to the idea.
"As you wish, my darling. Anything else that you ask?"
"Sleep with me in trance again when I return from Horamont, my darling," he answers her over the communique.
She giggles sheepishly in believable remark for a moment.
"As you see fit, child."
He is apparently not amused, but not sternly angry.
"Do not call me that."
The call ends, the hissing disappears.
She sighs, then laughs a little to herself.
"I was an actress once. It has benefitted me greatly in this system. If you are believeable, and full-blooded, you have nothing to fear. Since you are in good accord with Golidere......." she pauses, "and since he is being audited by the Enforcement Commision, he is in a mind to get you on board, instead of tossing your hulking carcass and having to live with more angry loved ones left behind. The Heirocracy is already taking a lot of heat from many elves and others on the slavery issue, but they claim that it is in accordance with the Cause, because it is the enlightenment of the rest of the Unelven that is their greatest reward of service to Elvenkind." She makes a face of disgust as she rasps her lips.
"Makes me sick."
Lykia listened, but didn't seem overly impressed, it was all very strange and confusing to her, if anything, it succeeded in annoying her further about her situation.
She almost jumped at hearing Golidere's voice again, and even made an adjitated sound under her breath.
Listening to his words, her expression slowly turned fierce, and one of anger, and she made fists with her hands that remained lowered.
Once the transmission ended, she remained angry, "That man..." She growls through her teeth, "How dare he..." She stops, and tries to calm herself, repulsed by the idea he expected her to fight for him. After calming down a little she looked to Ally, "What is trance?"
Too many things were running through her mind, to many questions to really focus on a single one.
"I don't altogether disagree with you, but it's the way I have planned my method of establishment before I make a move against this system," Alytrase answers her.
"Trance, that time when we meditate or rest our bodies for some time, like when the humans and other races sleep... Does your demon blood make you restless, perhaps?" she asks cautiously, approaching her with careful words.
"Do you trance or meditate? Where I come from, it is common practice and seems to be among most elves...."
"Where I'm from, we keep usually to our own customs." She answers, finding these people more weird, then answers again, "I sleep when I want to, not always because I'm tired, just out of habit." She pauses, "...I like dreaming..." Lykia says in a low voice, wondering if that sounded weird coming from her, since it sounded somewhat childish when she heard herself speak it.
"Half demon and dreaming," Alytrase comments with a light chuckle. "You really do sound like you do not belong, but I assure you that you are in good hands. You are another diamond gone unpolished in the hands of the Lanathian Hierocracy."
She regards her with a comforting smile, trying to understand this girl's position.
"I will see to it to elect myself as your mentor, since Golidere will most assuredly allow it of me, and to have two or three brutish drow at your shoulder would most certainly turn you to murder and pain, and I will have none of that of such a strong soul," she explains.
"Will you see that I am an elect of yours? I will acquire us time away from Monitor where we can discuss the deeper topics at large, and the best methods for working our way in...."
There is a click and a hiss in the room as she stops.
"Alytrase?" it is again so soon, Golidere.
"Yes," she answers shortly.
"Is the Lady Lykia doing well? I have been inept to see you on Monitor..." he asks.
"She is fine, and coming to agreement, after having been tumultously pulled from her normal life... You know, you could learn a thing or two from me in dealing with the lesser cultures...?" she answers in perfect confidence.
"Perhaps, you are strange with words, but it is no concern of mine. She will do as she's told, or she will find herself at a loss of breath, it is that simple," his cold words sting true as Lykia listens, and Alytrase looks down somberly for a moment.
"See to it that she rests as long as possible. Her first interaction will after I return. We have arrived to Horamont, and my concern for her is pushing my intuition's limit. Something about her makes me disconcerted, and I want you to see to it that she is monitored, and I wish that you should set the Monitor back on. I know that you value your privacy, but for your own safety, I would wish the girls and you to be on Monitor for the rest of the evening, and I will relieve you of her tonight when I have returned."
"You doubt your own doubts, my dear," she says in eloquent elven.
Sighing, she answers, "Yes, I shall do this for you, for our protection, but for no other. My life is mine own."
"You are too difficult with me," he answers, though sounding as if he were smiling the words.
"When I return."
"You would have me any other way?" she asks.
"Not in ten thousand years."
"When you return," she answers.
The hissing ends at the sound of another click, and she sighs.
"Our privacy now ends, my dear. Perhaps we will visit with the other girls, or you can rest as he says. It will be to your benefit. First interaction means that you will see specifically what you will be doing until you are assigned to warrior ranks. It can be quite a tiring ordeal, I hear. I was lucky enough to avoid such formalities, having been mentored in my old land of the art of war."
She has stood up from the bed, and walks to the nearby wall.
"From here on in we will have to watch our words and actions. The glasspiece in the room corners are magic eyes to other elves that may not enjoy you or myself, and can report any questionable actions to others than can have us all imprisoned or worse. Let us be modest in our faces, and strong in our hearts."
She smiles, then opens a dagger-sized panel of the wall, placing her finger on one of four small switches.
"Anything you want to say before I do this?"
Lykia's teeth are grinding together, her eyes are no less than furious, "What an impudent man..." She looked around, and her face showed a flicker of fear, "Isn't there some way out of here? Away from that man alone would console me." Without realizing it, Lykia was slightly pouting. She stood up slowly, and moved to a corner and sat back down with her knee's up. "I don't need rest." She said rebeliously before letting out a small, squeaky yawn.
"We will retreat to the girls' apartments, and this will afford us enough distance between he and you, though with him gone, it will some time before we hear or see him again," she answers her.
"Unfortunately, the only way OUT of this... is death or Sleep. And you would wish neither upon yourself, yes?"
She is severe in tone, but still calm, trying to remain steadfast. Apparently, this question's answer was obvious to her.
"Ready?" she flicked the switch and the hiss returns as before, not to leave this time.
"Now, I suggest that you get some rest. First interaction is grueling, not a pleasure at all. I would find myself a bed if I were you, and if it's this one, you'll have to see him when he returns, no matter what, so if you are so reluctant of him, I would ask a space of the girls. Mioori will afford you her own space if no other is found, I'm sure."
Lykia pushes herself up, back against the wall, staring with a cross look at the floor, "I will not go near those cages." She says rather defiantly, cages being all they were to her. She slowly made her way across the room, never looking at Alytrase as she scrapped her feet along rather begrudgingly. Once in the same area of the room as the other girls, she yet again found herself a spot along the wall where to sat down with her knee's up, and arms wrapped around them, mumbling 'I want Master Niari...' in the same way a child would whine for one of their parents.
Alytrase's eyes followed the girl with a concerned look in them. Her head leaned to the side as it always did when a human or half-elven child would sit and cry or pout as it was 'processed', and she would sit by, watching and empathizing with the underlings under a guise of apathy, engrained into her since her early integration into Dysphasian society.
She had been lucky when she had travelled to Rémullasin and Bimuuln, and learned the ways of the freedom fighters before the sadness had gotten to her core, and caused her nearly to commit madness upon herself. Now those lessons were being challenged, and she sighed with a heavy sense of responsibility as she stood, commiting herself to the helping of this frail creature thrown into her midst.
Yes, catch this on Monitor, you nosy bastards. I'll make sure that this child is taken to properly if it is the last thing I do. This girl will be the best damn fighter Dysphasia has ever spawned, and her courage will come from her pride, I can see it in her already.... Watch me do my magic, you peeking snotlings... Ally thought to herself and the magic eyes with sadistic pride, though her face was nearly cold with porcelaine demeanor, though her eyes gave away her empathy for the girl.
"Dear, poor, child. I cannot begin to understand your hurt, though I can hear it in my heart." Ally stands and walks to the girl's side, speaking as she slowly approaches her, hands crossed in her long sleeves.
"There is only one thing to fear; and that is fear.
"I can do nothing to bring you to your loved one, my darling, but I have one single gift I can give to you. My mother used to sing to me when I was frightened, when the orcs used to raid our villages."
She slowly enwraps her arms around Lykia's shoulders, and cooing to her, slowly working her way into a sullen melody, an eerie elven ballad of earthen wordless tune and humming, which Ally engages in very well.
Though tense when first embraced by the unfamiliar elven woman, Lykia finds herself somehow magically soothed by the song, which feels as though it cools the tension building up in her midsection. Though it is not a physical sensation, the release of buildup of harmful energy around her throat and chest is released, and the result is the production of heavy sobs and sporadic, quick breathing that feels good to let out as she is magically induced into a light spiritual cleansing.
Ally's song continues, and after a few long seconds of release of her bindings, Lykia only then notices she had closed her tear-filled eyes, but has no urge to open them for the moment.
From her grief, she experiences a sort of illusiory vision in her mind's eye, as if lucidly dreaming.
Somehow, her words still continue after she has stopped talking, "I want my Master Niari, I want Master Niari..."
She walks somewhere bright from somewhere darker, and in the light she can see only a simple chamber, such as the huge dining chamber in the old mansion at Niari's estate.
Before she has time to assess the surrounding's details, she hears a familiar voice.
The red-haired slave froze for a moment, even in this dream state closing her eyes as a tear freed itself upon her cheek. A long breath escaped her lips, one of shakey anxiousness as her mind grasped what she was hearing, the sultry male voice she knew so well that replayed in her mind over and over, not only now, but every night dreaming or awake. She couldn't explain her obsession towards the demon, just his voice drove her crazy, 'Lykia...' She continued replaying the sweet sound of her name rolling off his tongue. All she knew was that she loved him, no matter how evil he was, more than anything in this world or any other. The moment seemed to last forever, though in reality, it had only last a few seconds.
Her eyes opened slowy, their sight blinded and blurred for a moment by tears before she wiped them away with her hand. She now for the first time looked foreward to the now standing figure at the head of a marble dining table in the center of the hall. He was tall, standing six feet, five inches, with a lean, muscular build, his tanned flesh was bronzed and smooth. Lykia's eyes lifted to his beautiful face framed by silver strands of hair, her violet eyes meeting his icy blue eyes. She sobbed through a growing smile,
"Master..." She wiped more tears away as the word rolling off her tongue. Her feet suddenly sprint foreward before she even realized they were moving; she ran towards him, restraining herself as to not allow herself to touch him without permission. She gazed up at his handsome face, trying to read his expression. He wore the same emotionless expression as he could usually be seen with, though a slight look of wonder and amazement mingled in his eyes at seeing her there. She dropped to her knees before him and bowed low as he looked upon her, accompanied by a moment of silence before she lifted her face and looked up at him towering above her. She smiled a warm smile, and, losing her restraint, wrapped her arms around his waist, burying her face in his deep purple poncho all while knowing this act may result in incurring his violent wrath upon her. She braced herself to be thrown away from him, to feel his powerful hands grab her, claws dig into her shoulders as he'd pull her clutching arms away from himself effortlessly...but after a few moments this outcome did not come and she remained as she was, latched onto him as though she'd die if she wasn't. She could feel her heart pounding against his thigh, racing, her breathes heavy. Then, she felt it, on her head and running through her hair...fingers, her Lord Niari's fingers entwining through her crimson locks of hair, then, his large, strong hand resting on the back of her head. Lykia froze once more, astonished by his choice of action, not being able to bring herself to look up at him; though, she didn't need to. She felt his tall body move, bending his legs and dropping to his knees as well, forcing Lykia to lean back to allow him room to do so.
Where his hand rested on the back of her head, he tugged at her hair, gently forcing his pet to lift her face as he lowered his own. Lykia felt her face flush as she watched him come closer, his face relayed no emotion; though, his gentle behavior, something extremely rare, said more than words themselves could. Niari pressed his lips against hers as they shared a brief moment. After parting, Niari stared down at her,
"Do you not after all this time understand my orders?" His face turned momentarily cruel, "I do not like repeating myself." His hand now took hold of her arm in a tight, firm grip which made Lykia whimper.
"I..." Lykia began, stuttering as fear filled her, getting close to him was wrong, he didn't want her back... she thought, then, her thoughts were shattered as she felt him grab her chin and bring her back to the false reality.
"It's not that I don't want you back, that you wouldn't be pleasurable to me still, I set you free, and told you to leave, I gave you an order and you disobeyed." His eyes were as cruel and fearless as ever, like ancient ice crystals piercing the half-bloods flesh. Lykia bowed her head so her hair covered her face,
"I'm sorry Master..." She speaks in a little more than a whisper, then, realizing her mistake, clamps her ahnds over her mouth, and bows her head lower. She spoke out of place, without her masters permission. Her eyes became moist with tears, she was becoming careless. Though, for a second time during this encounter, punishment did not come.
"Why?" The word, and the tone in which it was used shocked Lykia yet again. Lord Niari was being uncharacteristicly gentle. Lykia began to cry again, as her emotions burst out.
"I missed you! Because I miss you, all the time! Because I'm upset you sent me away from you! I want to stay with you!" She yelled at him now, "Why?!" She grits her teeth, "Why is the question I should be asking you!"
Niari's hand then suddenly goes for the meager amount of chain left hanging from her collar, grasps it, and pulls hard, forcing the woman towards him even in their close proximity. His free hand finds the small of her back and aids the other in getting her closer, getting to a point that in his own, strange way, Niari is hugging her. Lykia cries onto his shoulder, confused and angry,
"I love you. I don't care how crazy that sounds, to love a demon lord as evil and cruel..." Lykia sobs.
"I know that. Why do you think I let you go?! To keep someone so enamored with me so close when I could have sooner killed you...Don't you see?! It's a vulnerability! Loving me allowed you to leave with your life! Wasn't that enough?!"
His words stung her, his choice of words conveying his feelings for her, though others wouldn't have deciphered this. I could have sooner killed you...Loving me allowed you to leave with your life... She knew what saying these things must mean, though she still didn't understand the extent, but that wasn't important now. She squeezed her eyes shut, streams of hot tears running down her cheeks. She raised her head higher, cuddling her face into Niari's neck.
"But I wanted to stay with you, thats all I wanted...ever since I laid eyes on you." She whispered against the flesh of his neck. She then peirced her lips together, breathing in deep, taking in his scent. She moved her face again, her cheek brushing up his neck and against his cheek. She then turns her face, brushing her lips against his face and kissing his cheek, her lips lingering there as one of her tears falls and makes its way down Niari's cheek. She moves her face again, "I love you." She breathes against his lips.
Lykia then feels a strange sensation as though falling, only then realizing her Masters form disappearing. She then regains her sense of sitting on a floor, out of the illusion, eyes still closed, afraid to open them.
Still drifting back into normal consciousness from her deep trance state, she must have embraced Alytrase as if it were her lord, since she finds her face in silken auburn hair that smells of juniper leaves, while Ally is still in a trance of her own, calmly petting the girl's hair, though that was not an active part of her vision. They had both come to kneeling on the soft floor, with Lykia nearly in Ally's lap, while she gave the girl a shoulder to rest on while emoting softly to herself.
Ally had likewise undergone a trance of her own, perhaps in order to strengthen Lykia's own vision. Her eyes do not open, and she remains silent.
Lykia sniffs, whoever was holding her didn't smell like Niari. Her nose twitches, being tickled by Ally's hair. Lykia gives a small squeaky sneeze, her eyes opening slowly with a childish expression as one of her hands finds it way to her face and paws at her nose, pushing away the strands of hair that had been tickling it. She turns her face and looks up, her eyes glossed and her expression drowsey like as she stares at Ally for a moment. Realizing it wasn't Niari and giving a fussy whine, she begins wiggling free of Ally.
Alytrase's eyes are still closed when she tries without success to stifle a light giggle, but they open moments after, as she lightly comes up out of her trance. It was amusing to her that a girl like this would have been conditioned to be so timid when it was obvious to her that the strength in her heart and soul were more powerful than that. Perhaps it was Ally's calling to bring that courage up out of her, but it was obvious that this would be no easy task, and still more difficult when the half-demon girl was employed by such a high-and-mighty chauvinist elf like Golidere Estaanza.
Taking a deep breath and smiling as widely as she could, Ally mutters, "I do so hope that this was a healing experience for you. I could feel the energy in your heart very strongly, and it is apparent to me that you one-of-a-kind, and not someone to be second-guessed. I hope that your time here helps you to realize your true strength, the strength of your soul, the spirit that cannot be quenched by evil."
Looking the girl straight in the eye after having taken another meaningful breath, "I will do everything in my power to make sure that this happens for you, child. I will not let you be another harem girl, or a half-blood to be suppressed... You will be the greatest warrior that Dysphasia has ever had the bad fortune of acquiring. Do you understand my words?"
It seemed as if there could have been double meaning, or perhaps just an intimate need for the girl to get ahold of herself and observe the severity of her words.
Lykia also happens to have the distinct memory of being 'monitored' before falling into trance, another detail of always being watched by someone in control.
Lykia smiled softly, although almost in a sad manner; Alytrase’s words to her sounded like an exaggeration, rather than compliments and words of encouragment that they should have been. She was reminded of her life where she grew up, being constantly told of the ‘great’ traits she had, and of the position she would one day have. Instead of encouragement, it seemed more so to the red haired girl that saying these things was more so of a way of trying to convince her those things were true, and coax her into whatever position they lead to. She was somewhat grateful to the other woman though for all the help she was trying to give.
Listening to the rest of what Alytrase had to say, Lykia leaned back against the wall. ’ You will be the greatest warrior that Dysphasia has ever had the bad fortune of acquiring’ , at first the words simply passed through her, but something made her look up at Ally, and she heard the statement in her head again, repeating it. The half-breed smirked a little at her interpretation of it, ’ the bad fortune of acquiring’.
“Is that so?” She asks in a quiet voice, “I can’t say I’m sure I understand.” Lykia looks away again.
Alytrase smiles, seeing the new light of wisdom shining in the girls eyes. Taking in the most casual breath an actress could produce, she smiles lightly and says, "Well, my dear, what I mean is that, in your situation, your predicament if we may, it often occurs that someone in your position tends to be the object or catalyst of many bad situations, say, if you're killed in anger, and someone of high regard must answer for it. But your willingness" and here there is a change of tone only seemingly audible in her voice, "to cooperate (and her eyes flick only for a moment of meaning to the small glass lens in the corner of the room, where the magical seeing eye could watch every word on her lip and monitor every sound she made), it could generate a Path of Ultimate Reward, one where the Dysphasian goals were not challegned, and yet the individual's goals are still met....
"To objectify yourself to an elven Cause, shall we say one where you prove yourself as a great warrior or knight, it is valued in the Heirocracy's eyes, and you could be acquitted of charges of non-elven blood and virtues. It could be a great and redeeming lifestyle, and could even earn you your status as free elven citizen. Perhaps learn the ways of the traders and martial ships, and it is even possible that you could command a fleet (she speaks as if she cares little), and could perhaps secure yourself a ship of your own to pilot to your own decided destination, as a free citizen of Dysphasia. It could be your elven half that saves you from your other half, and that will ultimately save you from the bad fortune of your current status and situation..."
She takes in another deep breath, hoping that her complete lack of privacy would not hinder the impact of her words.
"I, for one, have chosen hereforth to never leave the bounds of Dysphasia's reach, for I feel quite deeply that my future destinies lie only in the realm of Dysphasian activities. I have many personal interests that will forever lie in the freedom of 'my' people," she finishes, having only enough accent on the word my to insinuate that she perhaps could not call these people her own, or as if it were false that she should say so... though again the slight of her voice was only barely recognizable, and caused Lykia to wonder at the precision of these 'monitors' to notice such fine details. The elves had always had a way with refined grammatical details. This culture seemed no different, aside from its technologies. Her words were laces with unspoken truths.
Lykia listens, tracing a finger over the floor in front of her in spiral patterns, but doesn’t seem to react to anything Ally says. She turns her head and looks up at the ‘magical seeing-eye’, staring at it dully and sighs. She droops her head, allowing her hair to fall over her face covering the view of her mouth, “I don’t want to fight at all, even if it may result in not being a slave.” She draws up her knee’s and places her chin on them, “Who would he have me fight?” Her eyelids droop a little, and she squeezes them shut for a moment before blinking them open again.
Noting the helplessness in the girl's words, she knew the answer to that would not be easy on her.
"It is possible that they will attempt to coerce you into lashing out, and perhaps forcing your demonic rage into exiling you from elven justice, so that they can use you for some other method. Golidere is known throughout the worlds as one who will manipulate you to fit his needs... And he may not need you at all. Which means that you will be forced into showing them the extent of your demonic side, and ultimately putting yourself in very real danger."
She took in a deep breath, hoping that those words set the stage for her answer, "He would have you fight anyone, to know what you are capable of, even if it means your death. If you do not fight, he may cast you out of elven life, and put you into Sleep. If you do not fight," she paused, waiting for the girl's eyes.
"...You will become one of them." With this, she motioned toward the small compartment room behind them, where the harem girls slept in oblivious comfort. Her eyes did not sway, as she attempted to confer the severity of that threatening possibility.
Ally waited as she watched the sad, confused girl.
"Do you perhaps know the ways of magic?" she asked her.
Lykia looked up, “Demonic side, huh?” She smirked, and almost laughed, something almost sad in her expression, “I may be of demon blood, but I know not of being demon…I’m like a human raised as dog, the human is human, but knows not of what it is to be human. He only knows how to be a dog.” She paused for a moment, “Sure, I know a few tricks of the eyes, but even that I can barely control.” She thought of all the time spent with her demon master, she was nothing like him. The time she spent with him consisted of many of her emotions being suppressed, even if not much.
The crimson-haired girl then thought on Ally’s question of magic, “Of course I know magic, but it’s been years since I’ve practiced it. I had no use, or way to use magic when I was with my Master.” Her hand went silently to her collar for a moment, “I honestly couldn’t tell you now if my magic is worth even a copper piece.”
Listening carefully to the girl's synopsis of her state of mind, Ally replies, "We must remain hopeful that your self-control is so forgiving, and that he does not choose to use your non-elven self against the self that you most definitely are. I remain assured that you will do what it is your greatest destiny, and I will seek your mentorship if you see fit. It is ultimately Golidere's decision, but you would be surprised at how much clout I hold around this group of slow-dad's..."
She watches as Lykia's hand gently brushes her collar as she speaks, picking up on the doubts she had been taught to act upon, and could not help but pick up on the tingling aura of control that lashed out from every stitching on the leather collar, an energy so potent even it's wearer could not resist its lure to draw them down. Ancient ties, and magical restraints. Damn controlling bastards... no better than the Dysphasians... When we will learn to leave our bretheren to their own devices? she silently spoke to herself.
"You would also be surprised what powers lie within the realm of elvenkind. Our forebearers were not ignorant of the laws of the arcane and divine. I have taught welps less aware than you, five-fold. I do not fear the bindings stricken upon your aura, my dear. I will teach you to ignore their restraint, if you deem it so. I cannot teach an unwilling pupil, and I will not employ a harem girl at my side. Those are my only rules. Everything else is destiny." Pausing to let her words take hold, she waits to inform her, "If I can prove to Golidere that you are more elf than demon, you will be seen as a contribution to elvenkind, and will be given less restrictions."
Seeing another sliver of doubt in the girl's eyes, she finishes by stating, "You will not find any better protection than I, when you are taken to Dysphasia. I do not wish to see your spark extinguished, and I will make sure you are not disposed of, if you will allow it."
She waited for the girl to ponder it over before saying anything more.
"I don't really have a choice then..." Lykia says, sadly, "I can't get off this ship, and I can't be a harem girl, I won't." She states rather sharply. She sighs slowly, trying to relax her nerves. She felt like a defenseless animal trapped in a corner with no way out. "I guess the only thing I can do is what you say...there's nothing else."
And so, with that, Lykia had begun the most intensive training the Dysphasian Guard could throw at her. While Alytrase refined her mind and body with physical training including martial tactics originating from ancient styles, meditation, self control and dance, because Golidere was so fond of ballroom dancing, or at least the feaux facade of a masquerade or gala every so often. These occured both on the ship and at strange ports around the stellar system which had previously been unknown (and with good reason) by Lykia.
Through travel, study, dance, self control and willpower, Alytrase pushed the girl to bend the world to her whim, though it was with reluctance that Lykia took part. Ally enjoyed the challenge of a frustrated student, but maintained a slow pace of teaching to work with Lykia at times which were less public than others. Lykia had found that Golidere, once confronted with the idea of having a powerful female warrior or spellcaster in his troupe might show him up, and became decidedly blunt and sour with her, which suited Lykia's tastes much better than the twisted personal self she had first encountered in his parlors.
Golidere does not relent on the girl's training, sending her to rest with the harem and Alytrase, bruised and cut from the training, which although helpful, is a gruesome torment on the girl's body, and even once he had sent her to train just a day previous to one of his infamous galas, sporting her in full elven dress, embarrassed and repressed in many ways. He had introduced her that night in a way which she swore she would get vegence for that night:
"Why there she is! My finest warrior to date, coming in now. The damned brute showed a sporting attitude as she plummeted face first into the stones during her endurance training yesterday, but my oh my is she coming along in skill! Come here, oh come here, shy and restless darling, and kiss me!" After he dutifully received his smack, he laughed and finished degrading both her and insinuatingly Ally's choice of her as a pupil, then moved on to other more intricate topics in elven artistocratic discussion while Ally attempted to dab at the rhetorical wounds the entire night. It had been the thing which had sent her back to crying again, even after fighting it for so long.
She had become so strong, and Alytrase secretly regarded her as a surrogate child, which made Lykia even more hot-tempered sometimes.
It had been eight months since she had begun her journeys with the Dysphasian ships, and with their surprisingly fast speeds, they covered distance between Selen's worlds at break-neck speed, though you didn't feel a thing because of the smooth ride they provided. The magical integration into technology forms was amazing from a magical or scholarly standpoint, though too often Alytrase regarded it as inconceivably pointless, given the other forms of elven lifestyle possible without any technological advancements. Still, Golidere was a man of this style, and it was during training that Lykia had found a form of technology that was helpful:
Body-Shaping Retractable Armor.
Lykia had been returning from training, sweaty, angry, but tired from the release of the anger built up in her for the past two weeks. A scabbed cut still over her right eyebrow, she saw the metal elves come in again. They did it everytime they went for a run, and everytime they went in for training, the drow and elven martial soldiers (the same band of glinting black metal elves that had originally nabbed her from her homeland forest) sheathed in a sort of armor that wrapped around their entire body, distinguishing every curve with a fine layer of mobile, lightweight banded mail. It wasn't that it was so pretty, it was that it covered every inch of their body! Their eyes could not be seen behind a thin veil of black metal that appeared just like all the others, but the drow moved around like they could see, using martial moves only a seeing elf could do.
One of the elves stepped out of the dressing room, and all at once upon a touch command on his forearm, the armor shackled backwards band by band, revealing the elf beneath and contracting into a small, round globe of black metal. No mechanisms showed, no magical commands, no weak spots or holes, just top to bottom armor. She once watched on as a elf dropped from fourty feet in the air while passing by a mark, falling on his back and being okay inside his armor suit. It was a memorable event, because the event had shocked her to such a degree.
One day, after leaving training, she saw a group of the elves who were a part of the Raider Group, a tactical group involved in overland raid and hauls, and they were talking somewhat quietly to each other near the entrance to the training rooms on board the ship between their last two runs before returning to Dysphasia for a full season.